Here in the Midwest, most schools start in the middle of August. There’s always moaning and groaning as school buses have to drive students by the state fair that isn’t quite over yet, but there is one advantage.
School is usually over by the end of May. This year, my daughter is done with school on June 3, and that’s considered late.
Anyway. Summer is in the air. A while back, I posted about all sorts of options for child care during the summer months. Today’s topic is going to be on plain old summer fun, when you’ve got an afternoon or a weekend, or a whole week in front of your family and you need something to do.
In my dreams, I fantasize about long, unscheduled summer days. I dream about doing nothing in particular, and rolling with the day as it unfolds.
Reality is different. Reality is that if I don’t get the kids up and moving in the morning, the day is shot. The fighting will start about 10, followed by tantrums and general insanity. I’ll be frustrated that we are having fun, nor are we accomplishing any household tasks, and well, things won’t be pleasant.
So I need to have a plan.Here are a few free fun things my family looks forward to every summer.
Sign Up for the Summer Reading Program
Most library systems have a summer reading program. I have fond memories of the the summer reading programs of my youth. I loved going to the library, telling the librarians about the books I read and working toward rewards. Programs are free, and it’s fun to hang out in an air conditioned library on a hot afternoon. Our library system has multiple branches, so I try to bring the kids to different branches throughout the summer, just for fun.
Find Discounted or Free Movies and Bowling in Your Town
Every summer, movie theaters and bowling alleys offer free programs for kids. Again, air conditioning is your friends when it’s 95 degrees outside with 80% humidity. I’m sure many companies run programs, in our town the benefactors are Regal Theaters ($1 movies) and the Kids Bowl Free program.
Look for Splash Parks and Other Ways to Cool Off
Splash parks and splash pads are a great way to cool off without having to actually spend the day at the pool. The water is typically ankle high, which is enough to please the kids, but not be a hassle for the grown ups.
Tour Your Local Playgrounds
Scout out playgrounds that are “new” to your family. Pack some snacks or a picnic lunch and make it a field trip.
What are your favorite summertime activities? How do you remember spending your summer days as a kid?